22nd November 2014
Linfield Scorers :
Waterworth 71’, Haughey 89’
Warrenpoint Town Scorer :
D. Hughes 13'
Linfield Team :
Ross Glendinning, Richards, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Carvill, Burns, Morrow, Mulgrew, Sproule (62’ Patton), Quinn
Linfield Subs not used :
Tuffey, M. Clarke, Murray, Reece Glendinning
Warrenpoint Town Team :
Parr, McCabe, Moan, Mceigh, King, Smith, Hughes, Devlin (61’ O’Connor), M. Hughes, Grant (74’ Breen), S. Hughes
Warrenpoint Town Subs not used :
Cowan, Havern, McCreanor
Linfield travelled to the Mourne Mountains on a perfect afternoon for football. The Blues were looking to continue their fine away form and bounce back from conceding a controversial equaliser last week against the Glens. There were starts this week for Michael Carvill and Ivan Sproule, coming in for Stephen Lowry and Ross Clarke who both missed out (Lowry due to suspension and Clarke due to injury). Thomas Murray and Dale Patton made appearances on the bench, as Seanan Clucas and Kirk Millar were unavailable to manager Warren Feeney, due to suspensions while Ward, Thompson and Hegarty missed out due to injury.
Last year’s corresponding fixture was perhaps the most dramatic of the season as Linfield came dramatically from behind to win 3-2. Linfield were going to need to perform the same great escape act this year as after 13 minutes, Daniel Hughes gave Warrenpoint the lead. With the Blues holding a high line, Warrenpoint played a neat one-two and Stephen Hughes found himself scampering free down Linfield’s left. Stephen Hughes crossed into his namesake Daniel, and the Warrenpoint number 9 made no mistake finishing under Glendinning.
Linfield were finding it difficult to impose themselves on a bumpy pitch after getting used to the fairways at Windsor. Warrenpoint were hitting Linfield on the break and getting particular joy down the left hand side. Ross Glendinning, Haughey and Callacher had to be alert as a number of dangerous balls were being allowed into the middle.
In the 33rd minute, Jamie Mulgrew made a captain’s challenge to prevent Stephen Hughes from adding a second for Warrenpoint. Ruairi Devlin made a super run again down the Linfield left and crossed low into the middle. Stephen Hughes controlled the ball and looked destined to score, but Jamie Mulgrew had got back to block the shot and save the day.
Linfield’s best opening of the first half came from a corner in the 41st minute. Michael Carvill whipped in a good ball from the left and Jimmy Callacher climbed well to head towards goal but unfortunately the header dropped on the wrong side of the post. As the game approached the half-time whistle, the floodlights came on at Milltown Playing Fields. The Blues were showing a little more impetuous and urgency towards the break but unfortunately couldn't cancel out Daniel Hughes 13th minute opener.
Half Time: Warrenpoint 1 – 0 Linfield
Linfield emerged for the second period unchanged and looking to get back into the game quickly. The Blues were looking to push up the pitch and put more pressure on the Warrenpoint Town goal and certainly had the control of possession in the opening stages of the second period.
Niall Quinn had a shot blocked from around 25 yards in the 56th minute, as a long throw-in from Ivan Sproule was only half cleared by the ‘Point defence. Warren Feeney made the first shuffle of his pack in the 62nd minute as young dale Patton was brought on for Ivan Sproule. In the 62nd minute Linfield came their closest yet to equalising as a ball into the box was met on the half volley by Michael Carvill but his shot flashed wide.
In the 67th minute Linfield’s best bit of football agonisingly couldn't conjure up an equaliser. Some first touch passing involving Quinn, Patton, Mulgrew and then back to Quinn, saw the left back fire a lovely whipped cross into the middle. Quinn’s ball into the box was plumb onto the head of Sammy Morrow, but unfortunately the big striker couldn't keep his header down and the ball ended up in the stand behind Parr’s goal.
Linfield had finally found their feet and confidence in the game and in the 71st minute Linfield made their good play count as Andy Waterworth fired in the equaliser. Aaron Burns did well to turn his man in the middle of the park and slide a clever reverse ball into Andy Waterworth, who instinctively hit it first time past Parr to make it 1-1.
In the 78th minute Linfield cam e agonisingly close to inching into the lead. A fee kick from the left was cleared out to Jamie Richards who fired it back into the box. Aaron Burns did well to head back across goal into the path of Jimmy Callacher who did everything right to chest it down place a shot on target. Unfortunately, Jonathan Parr was there to pull off a good save to deny the Blues.
Linfield were camped in the final third of the Warrenpoint half going into the last 5 minutes. In the 89th minute, Mark Haughey gave the Blues a deserved lead. The Blues won a succession of corners, which Warrenpoint couldn't get out. One of these corners was only partially cleared out to Michael Carvill who fired it back into the box for the powerful Mark Haughey to score for the third consecutive time in the meeting of these two sides. A wonderful story for the big centre half, who of course is somewhat of a local lad, growing up in Newry.
Warrenpoint did press well for the equaliser but Linfield managed to hold on and once again come from behind at Milltown to take the three points.
Full Time: Warrenpoint 1 – 2 Linfield